After catch up about the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother, (In short, he'd never go in. Dislikes Katie Hopkins. Likes Patsy Kensit.), Keith Lemon was then ready to answer questions about The Keith Lemon Sketch Show.
Keith Lemon must really love Monday mornings... Last time I interviewed him, to talk about Through The Keyhole was back in August, first thing on a Monday, and now 5 months on it's yet another Monday morning when I sat down with Keith to talk about The Keith Lemon Sketch Show. Both times, Keith was on top form and a lot of fun to interview.
The sketch show sees Keith play a whole host of famous faces, including Harry Styles, Holly Willoughby and mark Wright to name but a few. Oh and look out for his real-life mum too who plays a few different characters in the series including Kris Jenner!
Last time we met you talked about the possibility of a sketch show, and now here we are talking about it. How did the show come about in the first place?
Yeah that's right. Well, we were going to make a second film. We wrote the film and then suddenly the people that bond the film suddenly thought they wouldn't be able to deliver the film on time. I was like - "Of course we'll deliver it on time because we'll work until we bleed." - my Executive Producer told me that we weren't going to do the film because they couldn't bond it just as I was going on stage for Through The Keyhole.
I went - "Thanks for telling me at this time. I'm supposed to be geeing myself up and you've just told me that part of my year is fucked now." - My commissioner for this show was stood where you are and I said - "Do you want to do a sketch show next year?" - and she said yeah. So I was like, right... never mind the fucking film... "Welcome to Through The Keyhole!".
The sketch show idea came about though because we'd recently started doing more sketches on Celebrity Juice than we'd ever done before and I'd enjoyed doing them. It was fun to be Danny Dyer in front of his face, and other characters that we've done on Juice and I said - "We should do a sketch show." so that's what we've done. But bigger production values than the skits that are in Juice, because basically they're always in front of a green screen!
And are you kind to the celebrities you've chosen to impersonate?
Well I can't do the voices for a lot of the people I'm doing. But it's not impressions. I never really laugh when I see impression because I sit there and go - "Oh that's good." rather than laugh. So I don't concern myself with doing the right voice. It's my interpretation of them.
But yeah, I'm always nice. I've sent pictures to Holly (Willoughby) and I've told Phillip (Schofield)that we're doing This Morning... where I play a lot of people; Denise Robertson, Gino D'Acampo, Jeff Brazier.
I told Mark Wright that I was going to be him and he said - "What happened to Craig David isn't going to happen to me is it?" and I said "Everything that's happened to you has happened." (Laughs). He stole my dream woman! (Michelle Keegan).
I sent Ant & Dec a picture when they were in Australia and another when they got back and they were pissing themselves laughing. In the sketch we do Ant & Dec Undercover and we basically put cardboard boxes on their head with faces drawn on. Which could insinuate that their make -up is rubbish on Undercover.
They said - "Who does your make-up then?" - I said "Millennium Effects who do Doctor Who..." - they said "Yeah! They do our shit prosthetics as well!" On Bo Selecta they used to get bummed with household objects, so I think they found this was a bit more lenient and alright for them.
I think ITV were worried. Peter Fincham said to me - "You're not going to piss off all our talent are you?" - and I said - "Anyone who I've done I'm a fan of." Because we were talking about Katie Hopkins the other day thinking that we should have done her but then we were like, no we shouldn't. We shouldn't put her on that platform where she's on telly even more! I've never known anyone who's not that aesthetically pleasing to the eye have a go at people's aesthetics.
She should just be polite I think. Unbelievable that she has a pop at people when she doesn't look like Michelle Keegan does she? Jesus Christ!
Are you worried some celebrities might take offence to the way you portray them? Similar to Craig David back in the Bo Selecta days...
I would never do anything with any malice. I would never have a nasty pop at some, it's just silly. I wouldn't want anyone to be upset by it.
I didn't want Craig David to be upset back in the day. I think he's alright now. I bumped into him at Fearne's wedding and we hugged and chatted about old times. He was like - "It was all just good banter." and I was like - "Yeah I know." I asked him if he'll come onto Juice and he said he's got some new stuff coming out so he might do.
And then I tweeted him the following day and he said - "Yeah, as soon as my next album drops..." - DROPS? You mean when it comes out? (Laughs). Next series I hope he'll be there. I think it'll be good for him, and for me. Some people don't even know Bo Selecta, because it's old now. It's about 10 years old.
How long does it take you to get all the make-up on?
Simon Cowell takes 4 hours... he's the longest. Ant & Dec take three and a half hours and the quickest is about an hour and a half and that might just be a wig and a nose.
Is there one sketch in particular that you really enjoyed filming?
We do Keith & Paddy's Film Bit, that's what it's called, it's with Paddy McGuiness who's a good mate of mine, so to work with your mate is ace. You can't stop laughing... I can't even look at him me.
We were just doing film spoofs, and I'm a big film buff so he was with us for a few days and we were just dressing up as people in films. We did Jurassic Park, and I couldn't believe that we had a T-Rex at the side of the car... and yes, it was manoeuvred by a vertically challenged man.
We did Harry Met Sally which has been spoofed a million times, the orgasm scene. So I said, let's go a bit further with this. Let's get liquid involved! (Laughs). That was a bit embarrassing to do actually because my mum was an extra in that and Paddy's going - "I can't believe you're doing this in front of your mum!"
Your mum's in quite a few sketches isn't she?
Yeah, she's in loads! She plays Kris Jenner in The Big Fat Gypsy Kardashians, she's in Downton Abbey, which is called Down Toon Abbey... we say that the makers of Downton Abbey are worried that it's not got a young demographic so the producers of Geordie Shore have made an episode. And this is the episode. It's all done like Downton, but the behaviour is from Geordie Shore.
It was my idea to get her involved actually, because I thought she'd be great as Kris Jenner. A lot of the people in the show are just me mates. Because actors have bad habits and want to do it how they want to do it. But when you've got your mates in you can go - "Do that again. That were rubbish."
I gave me mum a real hard time, because our director can only go so far trying to get what he wants, but I can go further because she's me mum so I can go - "It was shit. Mum, copy it exactly like this." Her accents are so shit, but it's so bad it's good.
As well as your mum, there are a lot of cameos in the series. Who's been your favourite?
Well the biggest cameo is Arnold Schwarzenegger. We did a junket where I play an Indian movie buff called Paul who is my mate Paul. You see, some of the characters who aren't celebrities are people that I know. Paul directed Keith Lemon: The Movie so I just did him.
Arnold's people said if he's with you, and he's in on the joke he'll be fine. So I went in and dropped the Indian accent and then interviewed about his film Sabotage. It was good. He was bringing all the lines that we were hoping for - "I'll be back" and all that. He's the biggest one.
What other sketches can we come to expect?
We do Fearne Meets, you know her ITV2 show Fearne and..., it's basically that but on One Direction. Harry obviously likes old ladies so I had to snog a few old ladies. I knew I had to give it for it to work! (Laughs). I've shown Louis and Niall and Liam pictures, and they laughed. They don't give a shit do they? Look at them!
Then there's Ed Sheeran, he lives in a hole in the forest. It's basically a wildlife programme about Ed Sheeran who lives in a hole, like a mole. Because you know how in his songs he's always talking about sleeping on his mates sofa? I said - "Imagine him before that. Did he just live in a hole?"
Do you remember Stig Of The Dump? It's a bit like that. He comes out of his hole, he either sings a song about an oyster card or he'll do his mating call to Taylor Swift. He does a poo as well. He eats pizzas... he gets pizzas delivered to his hole and then he catches the camera crew watching him and he doesn't like it. Chris Packham hopefully is going to voice that. I've sent Ed a picture... he ain't got back to me though! (Laughs)
So how would you sum up the show and are you worried about how it's received?
It's an old-fashioned, pure, simple sketch show... with lots of silliness in there. I think it's going to be ace. I do. It's better than the trailer! It is... because it's only got a little bit of it in. Loads of it we couldn't put in because it wouldn't make any sense. What we put in were all the celeb things. If we put character stuff in there people will go - "Who's that?"
I love the Urban Fox sketch. There are some sketches we've done where we've said - "Let's get three series out of this and then we'll do a spin-off of that one and that one." Some of the stuff in there you can see as a spin-off like the Urban Fox sketch. He's got terrible language. He's basically Dappy from N-Dubz as a fox.
But it's weird how he treats female foxes as well but they can get away with it because they're animals. We could never show a clip of Urban Fox on This Morning when we're promoting the show because every single sentence he says he says "Fuck."
I put a lot of work into it, but I think people might be disappointed with the ratings because I think for a new show it's never going to be that big. As long as the channel likes it, and word gets out, people will watch it. I think people like Juice because hopefully they watch it and go - "I want to be there. That looks like a good environment. That looks like a good night out." - But with a sketch show it's completely different.
I said to them - "I don't mind if you repeat the shit out of this!", because whenever they repeat Juice I go - "You're going to spoil it." - But I think with this they can, because it's just sketches. You can dip in whenever you want.
What's next for you? Are you still hoping to release the second film?
Well it's still there. I guess it's timing. Everything's timing. Me and Patsy Kensit were talking about doing a show together. A bit like, do you remember Cybill the TV show? Cybill Shepherd. She was a failed actress sort of thing. Me and Patsy were talking about doing a thing like that where I play her agent or gay next door neighbour who's not gay but hangs around her because he wants some pie... but she thinks he's gay.
We've been talking about that for a while. I'm up for doing it but it's just time. I just don't have the time because Celebrity Juice, luckily, is working still so we're just going to do that until we're too old. Well we are getting old. Me, Fearne and Holly do talk about stuff we won't do anymore because we are old. I'm not getting gym dick out anymore because I'm too old to get my dick out.
Right now I'm in love with the sketch show. I want to do three series I think. Again Celebrity Juice is different... that can just go on. And the same with Through The Keyhole, that seems to be working. The thing about Keyhole is that it doesn't matter if I'm shit in it, people are nosey so it's interesting. I love doing it.
When I was a kid I had a video camera and the first thing I did when I got it was pretend that I was Lloyd Grossman going around my own house! I present it now... ain't that weird? Dreams can come true! (Laughs)